Expert Tricks to Finding the Right Foundation Shade

The first—and most crucial—step of any great beauty look is having the accurate foundation shade for your skin. Although it seems simple, choosing the wrong shade for your complexion can leave you in a panic when you look in the bathroom mirror. We asked a top makeup artist for some of his tips on how to ensure you choose the right shade every time. 

According to Benefit Cosmetics makeup master Jose Rivera, the secret to the perfect match is to uncover what defines your skin tone and that of the foundation itself, adding that the underdone, or what lies beneath your skin’s surface tone (rosiness, etc.) is what must match your foundation’s undertone. “A good way to uncover this is my tried-and-true test for undertone—look at the inside of your wrists and determine if your veins appear more green/teal, purple/bluish, or neither,” explains Rivera. If your veins appear more green, you probably have yellow or warm undertones; if they look more purple, you likely have pink or cool undertones, and if you see neither of these colors, you probably have neutral undertones, or a balance of yellow and pink.

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Now that you have the formula to find the foundation that fits your undertone, what’s the best way to test products in-store? Rivera explains that the level of coverage you are aiming to achieve with your foundation should affect where you test it on your face:

·  If you’re looking for a more sheer look, test on the center of your face because little makeup will be used and more often the center of the face is where the most correction is needed due to active oil glands.

·  If you’re after medium-full coverage, test the product on your jawline to ensure your face ends up matching your neck without actually applying it onto your neck.

For powder foundations, Rivera recommends placing your three shade stripes down onto your skin and then spraying a tissue with a hydrating spray before pressing it over the stripes to oxidize the colors (which is what your skin will do the product after wearing it) to uncover your perfect match.


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